Proview sues Apple in the US, mass hilarity ensues

“Proview has decided to try and sue Apple in the US courts over the rights to the iPad name. The very basis of the case that they’re trying to make has me giggling,” Tim Worstall writes for Forbes. “Proview accuses Apple of creating a special purpose entity — IP Application Development Ltd, or IPAD — to buy the iPad name from it, concealing Apple’s role in the matter.”

“Well, yes, that almost certainly was the purpose of creating the special purpose vehicle. For if it were known that Apple was thinking of naming its next major product ‘iPad’ then the rights to the name iPad would be very valuable. More than the few tens of thousands actually paid, certainly,” Worstall writes. “But while they’ve got the motivation correct there’s a little problem with their complaint. Fooling someone in a business deal is not in fact illegal.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David E.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Proview files lawsuit in California against Apple over iPad trademark – February 24, 2012
Chinese court says Apple can continue selling iPads in Shanghai – February 23, 2012


    1. Great comment SB, where tomfoolery and misrepresentation runs rampant–Proview and others in Asia should be used to these sort of business dealings, so quit crying over spilt milk !!

      1. Before you wax eloquent about tomfoolery and misrepresentation,
        those and dupe and other terms imply a dishonest act.

        As long as you are not dealing with someone who is clearly mentally incapcitated, or with whom you have a fiduciary relationship or other duty to disclose, the deal is not dishonest.

        Proview was willing to sell the iPad name a deal was struck at about $55,000 that was satisfactory to them. The fact that the buyer was a straw buyer is not relevant to whether the deal was honest. Who else would have paid that much money for a silly useless name at that time; not even Kotex.

        The fact that Apple had a use for the name and used a straw buyer did not mean that Proview was duped, or tricked or deceived.

        Proview valued the name at 55k they got 55k end of story no trick, or deception even with a straw buyer.

        If the buyer sees something or a use for something that a seller doesn’t see it is not trickery to buy it.

        If you have an old used car for sale and we negotiate a price of $2000.00 and I pay that we each get what the deal calls for. If I take the car restore and modify it for a small amont of money and then resell it for 35,000 you got what you expected and I took a chance and made some money. If the next time you have a used car for sale I send my cousin to buy it for me, so the price doesn’t get jacked up you still get your price and are not deceived or tricked.

        The fact that you would have asked for more if you knew I was the buyer, where i had no duty to disclose, doesn’t make it a dishonest or deceptive deal.

        One last example I go into a retail store and buy an item of clothing at a modest price, I have a special patch or design sewn on it and sell it for 20 times what I paid for it- no deception.

        In conclusion Appple didn’t dupe, deceive or dishonestly deal with Proview they paid what was asked. Wher there is no duty to disclose it is not deceptive for the ultimate buyer not to tell the seller he has figured out a way to make great profit from the item being purchased.

        As to proview filing a suit in this case against Apple in a US Court

        To quote an old fable:

        Welcome said the spider to the fly!

    2. And is an art form in the East.

      Contract law is an art from the west. If shitey little companies like Proview are going to play at western art, they should be ready to suffer the consequences of cheating.

      Proview’s cheating and subsequent breeches of contract are well documented. The law, where it exists, will burn them alive. I’m going to enjoy the crackling sound. 🙂

  1. ProView is getting bad legal advice, or they’re idiots. Making a bad deal is not illegal. Using a shell company to handle negotiations is also not illegal, it happens all the time, when WalMart buys land for a new store. Frivolous lawsuits are not illegal, though they should be, but it will get your case dismissed lickety split, with court costs assigned to you. It was smart to try your luck in a favorable court in some small Chinese towns. Trying your luck in an international venue, or large Chinese city like Shanghai, required actually having a legitimate case.

  2. This is the “have your cake and eat it too” school of law approach: in the courts on China claim “We never sold the iPad Trademark” while in the US courts claim “Apple defrauded us into selling the iPad Trademark at too a cheap price by hiding behind a mask! Boohoo!” They want it both ways!

    1. From above… Orlando would have continued to exist as a small military town had there not been for those two corporations buying up land… for Walt Disney. When someone leaked that the two companies (plus a handful of other smaller ones) were actually shell companies for Disney, the remaining real estate value that wasn’t yet sold to Disney went up ten-fold… Proview got duped exactly the same way.

  3. What someone at Proview’s legal department didn’t consider is that the suit suing Apple for buying the iPad name and thus cheating them by trickery, also means they are admitting Apple did do business with them, they sold the rights. Summary Judgment is likely.

    1. The only court with jurisdiction for this case was Hong Kong. That’s over. Proview lost. Any US court can read those facts in the sales contract and in Hong Kong’s judgement against Proview last June. This case will not be heard.

  4. Apple is in the enviable position of having so much money that they’d happily spend more of it defending themselves against these types of litigation than coming up with a much cheaper settlement. Whenever Apple has to settle, it stirs up the nest of mosquitoes eager to get their own blood meal.

  5. It was the same method used to buy land for the California Aquaduct. Well, except for the ones resisting purchase, more motivating forms of persuasion was used. Needless to say, it was built.

  6. Needless the say, this case will be thrown out of any reputable US court. One look at the sales contract by the court will say it all:

    “Your signed contract with Apple specifies Hong Kong as the only venue for legal recourse. You’ve been there. You lost. Now get lost. You stupid little crooks.”

    …Or something like that. 😉

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